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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Conway

Rhode Island - The Ocean State

Alternate Nickname “Little Rhody”

I love that nickname!

Two Truths and a Lie

The Recipe - Coffee Milk Quahogs

In the 1930s, Rhode Islanders began sweetening milk with a coffee-flavored syrup to encourage more kids to drink it. Advertisements claimed it had the same sugar and caffeine content as chocolate milk. Regardless of the veracity of that claim, parents and kids loved the new concoction. It became the official State Beverage in 1993. Autocrat and Eclipse are the biggest brands, but Dave’s Coffee has recently won awards for its all-natural version. Coffemilk isn’t available in Nebraska supermarkets, and I didn’t want to wait for shipping so I tried to mimic Dave’s Coffee version with a reduction of cold brew and organic cane sugar. It smelled amazing! My whole kitchen was perfumed.

I used coffee syrup as a molasses replacement in my favorite gingersnap recipe. I scaled back the spices so the coffee would shine. I rolled the dough and cut it into quahog shapes. Quahogs are hard-shelled clams that flourish in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay. Oysters were New England’s preferred shellfish until a 1938 hurricane destroyed native populations. To save his family’s shucking business, F. Nelson Blount, realized quahogs, which burrow into mud and fared better in the storm, could be marketed as a tasty alternative to oysters. Quahogs (chowder clams outside New England) became a beloved Ocean State food. In 1987, they became the official Rhode Island State Shell.

The icing ruined the snap of the cookies, but they were still toothsome. The coffee flavor was not too aggressive, so my kids loved these. They tasted like pumpkin spice lattes in cookie form. I’m so pleased. Here’s to the smallest state in the nation and the last state on this blog!

Want to experience Rhode Island for yourself? Then Teresa recommends ...

My mom and sister have visited Rhode Island and said it was a lovely state. Alas, all I can say firsthand is that “Dan in Real Life” is a touching movie.

Time for the whole truth

Roger Williams founded Rhode Island. Cecil Rhodes was a British mining magnate with a controversial legacy in southern Africa.

(By the way, you can click on any of the 2 truths and a lie statements to visit the source of the trivia)

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